What is USTEP?

Are you thinking of applying to the College of Arts and Science, but your marks fell short of the entrance requirements? Do you want comprehensive support during your first year, and a tight-knit community of other students to study with? The College of Arts and Science's University of Saskatchewan Transition Entrance Program – USTEP may be just what you need!

USTEP provides a supportive learning environment that helps students overcome common first-year university challenges. Students in the program can register in a maximum of 18 credit units per year or nine credit units per semester through the College of Arts and Science.

Who should apply

  • Students under 21 whose high school grades do not represent their academic potential

How to apply

  • Submit an application to the University of Saskatchewan online: Application for Admission  
  • Select “Transition Program” when prompted to choose program
  • Arrange submission of your final high school transcript and any final post-secondary transcripts if you have attended any other post-secondary institutions

Minimum academic requirements for admission

Five subjects with the highest grades will be used to calculate an admission average:
  • One Grade 12 English
  • One Grade 12 Math
  • Three other Grade 12 subjects with highest grades

USTEP – 18 Credit Units

USTEP courses that make up the 18 required credit units in the program are offered in a Learning Communities Model. A learning community is a small group of first-year students who take classes together and share some common interests. Arts and Science learning communities are designed to ease the transition into university by providing our first-year students with valuable opportunities to make friends, study and explore ideas together, and to develop the academic and personal skills to achieve their goals.

USTEP students gather in a weekly USTEP Hour led by two senior student peer mentors who facilitate sessions on study skills, goal setting and stress management; help students access academic, health, and other support services; and organize information sessions and social events. Today's peer mentors and many campus student leaders started university in a learning community, where they developed the friendships, confidence and skills that set them apart.

USTEP will Open for Sign-up on May 2, 2022 at Noon.

NOTE: Prior to students being able to Sign-Up for USTEP you must ACCEPT your Offer of Admission. Please log in to your account and open your application to accept your offer electronically.

Upon Sign-Up of USTEP you will receive information on the Student Self-Service Block Registration.

Please make sure to watch your PAWs email for the next steps to take AFTER you Sign-Up in USTEP.

USTEP

USTEP students must select BOTH a Term 1 AND a Term 2 Learning Community. Once you have signed up you will receive an email to your PAWs email account with information for the Self-Service Block Registration. If you have any questions, please e-mail ustep@usask.ca.

Psychology 121 – English 113 – Music 101

Not sure what you want to major in? Lucky you! You have a whole world of possibilities to explore, and this Learning Community can help you start your journey. Joining this LC is an excellent way to become exposed to a variety of Arts and Science subjects in a short amount of time. Psychology 121 will help familiarize you with the body of knowledge, scientific theory, and research related to the major social, clinical, cultural, and developmental areas of psychology. English 113 will help you develop critical reading, writing, and thinking skills through analysis a variety of narrative literature in English. Music 101 will introduce you to the basic parameters of music, including notation, rhythm, intervals, melody, scales and key signatures. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. This LC is an excellent choice if you are looking to explore your interests, sample popular first year classes, and meet degree requirements before you have decided on a degree path. This LC pairs well with USTEP 08 or 09 in Term 2 but can be combined with any Term 2 USTEP LC offering.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Sociology 111 – Philosophy 120 – Math 101

It is estimated that up to 50% of students enter university unsure about which program of study they want to pursue, and that as many as 75% of students change their major at least once before reaching graduation. This Learning Community combines three courses that will lead to a wide variety of different majors in the College of Arts and Science, and it contains courses that could fulfill requirements for any Arts and Science degree. In Sociology 111, you will study human social life, changes in social structure and human interaction on an individual, societal, and global level. In Philosophy 120, you will explore philosophical questions regarding consciousness and personal identity, the nature of reality, knowledge and justification, the existence of God, freedom, and the nature of the self. In Math 101, you will be exposed to various aspects of quantitative reasoning, including the use of quantitative arguments to analyze problems, critique arguments, and draw and justify conclusions. Do not be intimidated by Math 101! The course is designed to nurture basic skills in numeracy, arithmetic, and estimation, while helping you to find your mathematical voice. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. This LC is an excellent choice if you are looking to explore your interests, sample popular first year classes, and meet degree requirements before you have decided on a degree path. This LC pairs well with USTEP 08 or 09 in Term 2 but can be combined with any Term 2 USTEP LC offering.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Indigenous Studies 107 – Psychology 121 – Health Studies 110

Social science disciplines explore the relationships among individuals within society. By taking Indigenous Studies 107, you will develop your critical reading, writing, and thinking skills while gaining a foundational understanding of Saskatchewan and Canadian Indigenous society and issues. By taking Psychology 121, you will become familiarized with the body of knowledge, scientific theory, and research related to the major social, clinical, cultural, and developmental areas of psychology. By taking Health Studies 110, you will learn how health has been conceptualized and studied from a wide range of science, social science, and humanities disciplines, and examine ways in which the unique perspectives offered by specific academic traditions have been utilized to study and address both past and current health issues. This LC is an excellent choice for students interested in pursuing unique and fulfilling careers in counselling, social work, law, public policy, research, or human resources. Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to helping professions, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. If you have not yet decided on what to major in, but these classes sound interesting to you, this LC could be the perfect fit. This LC pairs well with USTEP 10 or 11 in Term 2 but can be combined with any Term 2 USTEP LC offering.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Economics 111 – Political Studies 112 – Sociology 111

Social science disciplines explore the relationships among individuals within society. In this LC, you will be introduced to different ways of thinking about the idea of justice in a political society, and you will explore important issues of justice and injustice that arise in contemporary political and legal systems in Political Studies 112, study individual consumption and production decisions made within a market in Economics 111, and learn core sociological concepts used to understand social inequality, social order, social change, and globalization in Sociology 111. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science Degree, but they are particularly relevant for students interested in pursuing law, a career in government or politics, and/or degrees in, Economics, Political Studies, Sociology, or related fields. Although this LC is designed to support students interested in a variety of disciplines, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college. If you have not yet decided on what to major in, but these classes sound interesting to you, this LC could be the perfect fit. This LC pairs well with USTEP 10 or 11 in Term 2 but can be combined with any Term 2 USTEP LC offering.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Anthropology 111 – Biology 121 – Geography 125

Explore the sciences through one of two Science focused Learning Communities designed to prepare you for further studies and research in the natural, health, or life sciences. Biology is the science that will inform your understanding of life processes, ranging from genome discoveries to the conservation of biodiversity. In addition, Biology 121 will give you broad skills in scientific laboratory work. Geography 125 studies the earth's life-support systems and explores the consequences of human activity. Studying geography requires students to address research questions from a distinctly geographic perspective while drawing from a broad base of knowledge from related subject areas in the social and natural sciences. Anthropology 111, the study of what it means to be human, introduces students to contemporary social and cultural anthropology and includes topics on culture and meaning, fieldwork, the social construction of reality, kinship, hierarchy, language and communication, globalization, development, and conflict. This LC is a good fit for students interested in a wide range of careers, including education, fieldwork, lab work, policy, planning, or applied research, or who are interested in exploring science at the university level. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree.  Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to the natural, health, and life sciences, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college.  This LC pairs well with USTEP 12 or 13 in Term 2 but can be combined with any Term 2 USTEP LC offering.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Kinesiology 121 – Indigenous Studies 107 – Chemistry 100

Explore the sciences through one of two Science focused Learning Communities designed to prepare you for further studies and research in the natural, health, or life sciences. Kinesiology 121 surveys the functional effects of physical activity by examining strength development and training, anaerobic training, aerobic training, flexibility, diet, and other selected topics. Chemistry 100 is an introduction to fundamental concepts and skills in chemistry, with a focus on the development of problem solving and quantitative reasoning skills that includes hands-on experiences in the laboratory. Indigenous Studies 107 presents an overview of Indigenous societies across Saskatchewan and Canada by linking processes of the past with contemporary issues. This LC is a good fit for students interested in a wide range of careers, including education, fieldwork, lab work, policy, planning, or applied research, or who are interested in exploring science at the university level. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree.  Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to the natural, health, and life sciences, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college.  This LC pairs well with USTEP 12 or 13 in Term 2 but can be combined with any Term 2 USTEP LC offering.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Economics 111 – Math 102 – Psychology 121

In this Business and Economics Learning Community the Psychology 121 course will help familiarize you with the body of knowledge, scientific theory, and research related to the major social, clinical, cultural, and developmental areas of psychology. Psychology has redefined what makes a successful workplace by helping to shape the technology that makes our lives easier, and by improving the productivity, efficiency, and culture of businesses and organizations. Economics 111 is an introduction to microeconomics and will teach you how to understand individual consumption and production decisions which are made within a market economy, guided by prices and costs. Math 102 will present mathematical ideas essential for the study of calculus and can be used in preparation for further calculus courses. This LC would be of interest to students who are considering transferring to Edwards School of Business, Agriculture, or Law, or pursuing majors in Economics, Business Economics, Psychology, or other Social Science related disciplines in the College of Arts and Science. Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to Business and Economics, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college.  The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science Degree. This LC pairs well with USTEP 14 in Term 2 but can be combined with any Term 2 USTEP LC offering.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

USTEP students must select BOTH a Term 1 AND a Term 2 Learning Community. Once you have signed up you will receive an email to your PAWs email account with information for the Self-Service Block Registration. If you have any questions, please e-mail ustep@usask.ca.

Psychology 120 – English 114

If you are starting university and not yet sure what your major will be, or you are exploring your options, it may take more than one term to fully explore all the possibilities available in the College of Arts and Science. This Learning Community will help you continue to sample popular first year classes and meet degree requirements without having selected a degree path. In Psychology 120, you will become familiar with the body of knowledge, scientific theory, and research related to the major biological and cognitive areas of psychology. In English 114, you will be introduced to historical and contemporary cultural forms in English while becoming familiar with critical analysis. You will also study and practice composition in this course. USTEP students MUST ADD one more class to this Learning Community, either WGST 112 (01) OR SOC 111 (06)*. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. This LC is an excellent choice if you are looking to explore your interests, sample popular first year classes, and meet degree requirements before you have decided on a degree path.  This LC pairs well with USTEP 01 or 02 but can be combined with any of the Term 1 USTEP LC offerings.

*Please view the PDF of the USTEP08 schedule for more details on your third class option; days/times and course registration number (CRN). By selecting ONE of these approved classes to ADD, this will ensure that there are NO conflicts in the USTEP schedule and we maintain the cohort of the Learning Community.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Computer Science 140 – Art History 121

USTEP has expanded its Exploring Arts and Science Learning Community options for undecided and exploratory students. This LC offers an excellent path for you to continue to sample popular first year classes that meet degree requirements even if you have not yet decided on a major. Computer Science 140 starts with no assumptions about your background in computer science, yet emphasizes building computer programs in a graphical and interactive environment using the Python programming language. Philosophy 140 is designed to develop skills in critical thinking to ensure that graduates are better problem solvers. USTEP students MUST ADD one more class to this Learning Community, either PHIL 140 (02) or SOC 112(06)*. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. This LC is an excellent choice if you are looking to explore your interests, sample popular first year classes, and meet degree requirements before you have decided on a degree path. This LC pairs well with USTEP 01 or 02 but can be combined with any of the Term 1 USTEP LC offerings.

*Please view the PDF of the USTEP09 schedule for more details on your third class option; days/times and course registration number (CRN). By selecting ONE of these approved classes to ADD, this will ensure that there are NO conflicts in the USTEP schedule and we maintain the cohort of the Learning Community.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Psychology 120 – Sociology 112

This Learning Community will challenge you to explore the connections between your own experiences as a university student, and the context of the wider society in which you live. In Sociology 112, you will examine how we come to understand and experience ourselves and the world around us and how we create culture. In Psychology 120, you will become familiar with the body of knowledge, scientific theory, and research related to the major biological and cognitive areas of psychology. USTEP students MUST ADD one more class to this Learning Community, either WGST 112 (01) or ARCH 112 (04) *. This LC is an excellent choice for students interested in pursuing unique and fulfilling careers in counselling, social work, law, public policy, research, or human resources. Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to helping professions, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. If you have not yet decided on what to major in, but these classes sound interesting to you, this LC could be the perfect fit. This LC pairs well with USTEP 03 or 04 but can be combined with any of the Term 1 USTEP LC offerings.

*Please view the PDF of the USTEP10 schedule for more details on your third class option; days/times and course registration number (CRN). By selecting ONE of these approved classes to ADD, this will ensure that there are NO conflicts in the USTEP schedule and we maintain the cohort of the Learning Community.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Political Studies 112 – Philosophy 133

Studying the Humanities and Social Science explores our society and human relationships as a whole. In this Learning Community, you will begin to explore these relationships from a multidisciplinary lens. In Political Studies 112, you will be introduced to different ways of thinking about the idea of justice in a political society, and you will explore important issues of justice and injustice that arise in contemporary political and legal systems. In Philosophy 133, you will be introduced to ethics and values, and discuss and debate the fundamental questions regarding morality, justice, and beauty. USTEP students MUST ADD one more class to this Learning Community, either SOC 112 (06) or IS 110 (W02)*. This LC is an excellent choice if you are interested in Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines, or careers related to public service, government, law, law enforcement, or criminology.  Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to law, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. This LC pairs well with USTEP 03 or 04 but can be combined with any of the Term 1 USTEP LC offerings. 

*Please view the PDF of the USTEP11 schedule for more details on your third class option; days/times and course registration number (CRN). By selecting ONE of these approved classes to ADD, this will ensure that there are NO conflicts in the USTEP schedule and we maintain the cohort of the Learning Community.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Nutrition 120 – Biology 120

The courses in this Learning Community can support you on your journey towards a career in the natural, health, or life sciences. Biology 120 is an introduction to the underlying fundamental aspects of living systems and will give you broad skills in scientific laboratory work. Nutrition 120 will present you with a basic understanding of the science of nutrition and how the nutrients from foods are used by our body to maintain health. USTEP students MUST ADD one more class to this Learning Community, either HLST 110 (02) or ARCH 112 (04) *. Biology 120 and Nutrition 120 are among courses that can be used to meet requirements for the pre-professional year for the College of Nursing, as well as other direct entry and professional colleges, and works well towards any degree in the College of Arts and Science. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to the natural, health, and life sciences, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college. This LC pairs well with USTEP 05 or 06 but can be combined with any of the Term 1 USTEP LC offerings.

Please view the PDF of the USTEP12 schedule for more details on your third class option; days/times and course registration number (CRN). By selecting ONE of these approved classes to ADD, this will ensure that there are NO conflicts in the USTEP schedule and we maintain the cohort of the Learning Community.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Biology 120 – Chemistry 112

The courses in this Learning Community can support you on your journey towards a career in the natural, health, or life sciences. Chemistry challenges you to understand the world around us at the molecular level and the topics in Chemistry 112 include atoms and molecules, bonding, molecular structure, intermolecular forces, states of matter, and properties of materials. Biology 120 is an introduction to the underlying fundamental aspects of living systems and will give you broad skills in scientific laboratory work. USTEP students MUST ADD one more class to this Learning Community, either NUTR 120 (02) or ARCH 112 (04)*. Chemistry 112 and Biology 120 are among courses that can be used to meet requirements for the pre-professional year for the College of Nursing, as well as other direct entry and professional colleges, and works well towards any degree in the College of Arts and Science. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to the natural, health, and life sciences, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college. This LC pairs well with USTEP 05 or 06 but can be combined with any of the Term 1 USTEP LC offerings. 

Please view the PDF of the USTEP13 schedule for more details on your third class option; days/times and course registration number (CRN). By selecting ONE of these approved classes to ADD, this will ensure that there are NO conflicts in the USTEP schedule and we maintain the cohort of the Learning Community.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Economics 114 – International Studies 110

The lives of individuals and communities are increasingly shaped by political and economic forces that are of global significance. In this Learning Community, you and your peers will study global issues from two disciplinary lenses: Economics 114 looks at economics from the big picture or “macro” level, showing students how to understand the collective problems in economic policy and the choices we face as part of a modern economy. International Studies 110 explores the complex relationship between the “local” and the “global” by exploring the processes of globalization and the manner in which these affect the prospects of diverse societies around the world.  USTEP students MUST ADD one more class to this Learning Community, either PHIL 140 (02) or PSY 120 (W02)*. If you are considering transferring to Edwards School of Business, Agriculture, or applying for law, or pursuing majors in Economics, Business Economics, or other Social Science related disciplines in the College of Arts and Science, this LC may be the right fit for you. Although this LC is designed to support students interested in fields related to Business, Agriculture, or Law, enrollment in this LC does not guarantee admission to any degree program or college, nor will enrollment in this LC result in special consideration when applying to another program or college. The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science Degree. This LC pairs well with USTEP 07 but can be combined with any of the Term 1 USTEP LC offerings.

Please view the PDF of the USTEP14 schedule for more details on your third class option; days/times and course registration number (CRN). By selecting ONE of these approved classes to ADD, this will ensure that there are NO conflicts in the USTEP schedule and we maintain the cohort of the Learning Community.

Download schedule Click here to sign-up

Sociology 112 – Philosophy 120.3 – Psychology 120

Kickstart your first term of university in USTEP by enrolling in three courses that will ease your transition to the University of Saskatchewan. This Learning Community combines Sociology 112, a course where you will study human social life while developing an understanding of changes in social structure and human interaction on an individual, societal and global level. In Philosophy 120, you will explore philosophical questions regarding consciousness and personal identity, the nature of reality, knowledge and justification, the existence of God, freedom, and the nature of the self. Psychology 120 is a course that will familiarize you with the body of knowledge, scientific theory, and research related to the major biological and cognitive areas of psychology.  The courses in this LC can be used towards any Arts and Science degree. This LC is an excellent choice if you’re looking to explore your interests, sample popular first year classes, and meet degree requirements before you have decided on a degree path.

Please note: USTEP students who start their studies in the 2023 Winter term will need to continue in USTEP for the 2023 Fall Term and sign up in a 202309 USTEP Learning Community to complete USTEP.

Download schedule Sign-up with the LC Team

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Access to first year university
  • Dedicated Academic Advisors
  • Access to popular first year courses
  • Weekly LC Hour with Peer Mentors
  • Small cohorts of students

Absolutely! The 18 credits units that you will take throughout the year will count towards your degree upon successful completion of your courses.

The program designed to see that first year students succeed in their transition to university life. Students under the age of 21 whose high school average is between 60% and 69% are eligible for the USTEP.

The first step for getting accepted to the USTEP is to apply to the U of S as an undergraduate, go to: https://www.usask.ca/admission/

Once you have completed the Admission Process, you will be contacted by the USTEP team and invited to an Academic Advising session (either one-on-one or a group advising session). At the Advising session you will learn more about USTEP and how to sign-up on the USTEP webpage for Term 1 and Term 2 of USTEP. Then after you sign-up the LC Team will assist you to complete your Self-Service Block Registration into your courses

Good question! The USTEP itself offers the courses within in the format of a Learning Communities Model. The USTEP refers to the entire program and the USTEP Learning Communities refers to the combinations of three courses offered along with Learning Communities Hour. There are 7 different Learning Communities combinations offered in each term.

A Learning Community (LC) is a small group of first year students (for USTEP there are 25 students in each LC) that take classes together and share common interests.

The Learning Community (LC) Hour is held once per week in each LC by successful upper year student peers, known as Peer Mentors. At the weekly LC Hour you will learn tips and tricks on how to succeed in university, build a community and strengthen your academic skills plus, make connections!

The LC hour is non-credit course and will not have any assignments.

No. Your Peer Mentors are students in their upper years of university. They facilitate your weekly sessions, some of which will focus on developing academic skills such as note-taking, study skills, exam preparation and time management. Most important, your Peer Mentors act as a resource for you as you navigate your way through your first year.

No the LC Hour is free and are non-credit courses with no tuition or fees attached.

However, you will be responsible for all tuition and fees associated with the courses in the USTEP Learning Communities you register in for Term 1 and Term 2.

Upon successful completion of the 18 credit units you have taken in the USTEP Learning Communities as well as remaining in good academic standing for a first year student, you will then move on to your second year of studies in the College of Arts & Science.

Yes, you may apply to transfer colleges upon successful completion of the USTEP. You are welcome to meet with an Academic Advisor from your prospective college of choice to discuss transferring programs and the requirements for admissions to that college here at the University of Saskatchewan.

Contact us

General office and reception
306-966-3242 
306-966-2004
 ustep@usask.ca

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